Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1870 & 79

William Harvey (1787 - 1870)

 William Harvey was a cotton mill owner, Mayor of Salford, Deacon of the Bible Christian Church and President of the Vegetarian Society.


He was born in Whittington, Derbyshire in 1787. He came to Salford in 1804 as apprentice to a Mr Railton to learn cotton spinning, weaving and printing, and lived with his cousin, Joseph Brotherton, (Salford's first Member of Parliament). In 1810, William Harvey went into partnership with his cousins Joseph and William Brotherton, as cotton spinners. In 1819 Joseph Brotherton retired from the business, William Brotherton died, and the company passed to him. He formed a partnership with Charles Tysoe (a fellow member of the Bible Christian Church) and the company was known as Harvey, Tysoe and Co. The mill was located on Canal Street, Oldfield Road, and called Brotherton Mill. The partners' Christian principles of welfare, no children under 13 and a 10 hour maximum working day were favourably reported in "Manchester and Textile Districts in 1849" by Angus Bethune Reach. Later, William's sons and grandsons took part in the business.


On 19th June 1812, William married Mary Titley at Manchester Cathedral. Mary was born in 1790 in Staffordshire, the daughter of William and Mary Titley. The 1851 census shows that the Harvey family lived at Acton Square, Salford. William was aged 64 and described as Alderman, Cotton Spinner. Mary was aged 60, and their family were James aged 33, Cotton Spinner, William Brotherton, aged 29, Smallware Manufacturer, Chares Tysoe aged 26, Surgeon, and Edward aged 24 Bookkeeper. Also in the house was Ellen Titley aged 52 who was a House Cook.


The Bible Christian Church in King Street, Salford, played a big part in William's life. He helped to form it and became Deacon in 1809, a position he retained until his death in 1870. William was a staunch supporter of the church's principals of not eating meat, not drinking alcohol and not smoking tobacco. He was a founder and President of the Vegetarian Society; President of Manchester and Salford Temperance Union; President of the UK Alliance for the Suppression of the Liquor Trade; and Vice President of the Anti Tobacco Society.


In politics, William supported Parliamentary reform and was present at Peterloo in 1819. When Salford was granted one Parliamentary seat in 1832, William was Joseph Brotherton's election agent.  He was an ardent advocate of repealing the Corn Laws and one of the first to join the Anti Corn Law League. Locally, William was part of the Liberal group that shaped the formation of Salford Council in 1844. He became a Borough Constable in 1834, a Police Commissioner in 1843 and was elected one of Salford's first Aldermen in 1844. He was elected Mayor of Salford twice, in 1857 and 1858. Sadly, his wife Mary died whilst he was in office, on 12th October 1857 age 67. William was to continue to play a leading role on the Council until his death on Christmas Day 1870 at his home, No.8, Acton Square, Crescent, aged 83. He was interred in the family vault in A3 plot at Weaste Cemetery on 30th December 1870. The Rev James Clark of the Bible Christian Church officiated.